What challenges should multi-agency partnerships consider in the development of a partnership?

In some systems, multi-agency partnerships are common. Child welfare systems, for example, often involve a lead public agency that contracts with several community-based agencies that are responsible for service implementation. Mental health and juvenile justice partnerships also often engage multiple youth-serving agencies, and agreements must be negotiated with each entity.

Buy-in must occur with each partnering entity and at each level of the partnership. Relationships and trust-building should be especially prioritized within multi-agency partnerships because existing histories can complicate the process of building trust and establishing communication between all partners. Roles should be negotiated and each partner should have a clear understanding of the partnership’s benefits to them.

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Structuring a Partnership